[ANSOL-geral] Microsoft in hot water over Wikipedia edits / Uma
Sexta-Feira, 26 de Janeiro de 2007 - 19:02:09 WET
(AP) -- Microsoft Corp. has landed in the Wikipedia doghouse after it
offered to pay a blogger to change technical articles on the
community-produced Web encyclopedia site.
While Wikipedia is known as the encyclopedia that anyone can tweak,
founder Jimmy Wales and his cadre of volunteer editors, writers and
moderators have blocked public-relations firms, campaign workers and
anyone else perceived as having a conflict of interest from posting
fluff or slanting entries. So paying for Wikipedia copy is considered a
"We were very disappointed to hear that Microsoft was taking that
approach," Wales said Tuesday.
Microsoft acknowledged it had approached the writer and offered to pay
him for the time it would take to correct what the company was sure were
inaccuracies in Wikipedia articles on an open-source document standard
and a rival format put forward by Microsoft.
Spokeswoman Catherine Brooker said she believed the articles were
heavily written by people at IBM Corp., which is a big supporter of the
open-source standard. IBM did not immediately respond to a request for
Brooker said Microsoft had gotten nowhere in trying to flag the
purported mistakes to Wikipedia's volunteer editors, so it sought an
independent expert who could determine whether changes were necessary
and enter them on Wikipedia.
Brooker said Microsoft believed that having an independent source would
be key in getting the changes to stick -- that is, to not have them just
overruled by other Wikipedia writers.
Brooker said Microsoft and the writer, Rick Jelliffe, had not determined
a price and no money had changed hands -- but they had agreed that the
company would not be allowed to review his writing before submission.
Brooker said Microsoft had never previously hired someone to influence a
Jelliffe, who is chief technical officer of a computing company based in
Australia, did not return an e-mail seeking comment.
In a blog posting Monday, he described himself as a technical standards
aficionado and not a Microsoft partisan. He said he was surprised to be
approached by Microsoft but figured he'd accept the offer to review the
Wikipedia articles because he considered it important to make sure
technical standards processes were accurately described.
Wales said the proper course would have been for Microsoft to write or
commission a "white paper" on the subject with its interpretation of the
facts, post it to an outside Web site and then link to it in the
Wikipedia articles' discussion forums.
"It seems like a much better, transparent, straightforward way," Wales said.
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